A Race against Time: The Crisis in Urban Schooling

By James G.Cibulka; William Lowe Boyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE

Accountability at the Improv

brief sketches of school reform in Los Angeles

CHARLES TAYLOR KERCHNER
DAVID MENEFEE-LIBEY

FROM THE JESTER IN THE COURT of Henry VIII to Robin Williams in a night-club, entertainers have turned situational spontaneity into an art form. Reacting to a simple prop or a line hurled from the audience creates exciting cabaret. Improvisation also makes exciting school politics, and it is currently continuing a long-running engagement in Los Angeles, site of the nation's second-largest school system. Improvisation has been turned from simple situational responsiveness to a decades-long series of events that raised interest group and due-process accountability to high consciousness. However, improvisation does not produce durable institutional reform or create a system of schools capable of sustainable improvement. Although improvisation as a managerial form is recognizable to any seasoned school administrator and to students of policy familiar with “muddling through” or “street-level bureaucrat” concepts of leadership, it is at best an incomplete solution. In this chapter we follow the course of improvisational politics in Los Angeles over two decades, note its accomplishments and failings, and in the conclusion point to important amendments in political and institutional theory suggested by this case history.

Nominally and officially, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is a monument to Progressive Era rational design. Driven by the politics of water, the city annexed its suburbs and the school district took on a similar configuration: 54 miles long with a mountain range in the middle. Its 711,187 students attend 663 schools. It employs about 35,000 teachers and has a total staff of over 75,000. Its operation and governance are separate from the surrounding municipal government and the five-person

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Race against Time: The Crisis in Urban Schooling
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.